Monday, July 13, 2009

Homeland Security--287g and E-Verify

Under the U.S. Constitution, one of the government's principal responsibilities is to insure domestic tranquility. Does this DHS policy change help accomplish that important constitutional objective?
The Department of Homeland Security said Friday [July 10] it was revising a program that authorized local police to enforce federal immigration law -- a controversial aspect of U.S. border policy.
Opponents said the program, known as 287g, was intended to identify criminal aliens but instead has led to racial profiling; it allowed local police to identify and arrest illegal immigrants for such minor infractions as a broken tail light. Program supporters said it has been an effective tool for combating illegal immigration.
The new guidelines sharply reduce the ability of local law enforcement to arrest and screen suspected illegal immigrants. They are intended to prevent sheriff and police departments from arresting people "for minor offenses as a guise to initiate removal proceedings," according to Homeland Security. The program will instead focus on more serious criminals.
Sorry to be repetitive, but this policy change will make America safer and more secure how?

Now for some good news about the rule of law in the workplace in connection with the previously scuttled E-Verify program:
The Senate on Wednesday [July 8] agreed to permanently adopt a program for verifying the immigration status of those seeking work in the United States, previewing what could be a fight over revamping the troubled immigration system this year.
The Senate agreed to make permanent the voluntary "E-Verify" program as part of a $42.9 billion bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal 2010.
The Obama administration had sought only a two-year extension of the program, which uses Social Security numbers and immigration records to verify immigration status.
The House could still perform some legislative mischief when the bill goes to the conference committee, so stay tuned.

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